If you live in Portugal or are Portuguese tax resident you have received an email from Finanças. The Portuguese State communicates on its campaign of prevention and fight against forest fires. Last year many forest fires ravaged Portugal with many deaths. This campaign aims to prevent fires by explaining some measures now mandatory and even lead to fines of up to 60,000 euros. Bob, the Expats Personal Assistant in Lisbon and Portugal, tells you everything about Finanças' email on the fire prevention campaign and new measures.
A multi-ministerial forest fires prevention campaign
This fire prevention campaign was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development and the Ministry of the Environment. It puts forward measures now mandatory if you live in Portugal. The email you received contains new mandatory measures to prevent forest fires in Portugal. Bob tells you everything about them.
The mandatory forest fires prevention measures in Portugal
The year 2017 was dramatic in terms of the fires that hit Portugal. The human toll has been very heavy and although the vegetation close to the houses is not the only one in question, certain measures will be able to avoid future dramas.
These new measures must be implemented before March 15, 2018. You now have the obligation to clear the vegetation within a radius of 50 meters around your house and 100 meters on the land around the village.
It is now mandatory:
Clear vegetation, cut trees and mow tall grasses:
- Within a radius of 50 meters around houses, warehouses, workshops, factories or shipyards;
- Within a radius of 100 meters on land around villages, campsites, industrial parks, logistic platforms and landfills;
- Cut the tops of trees over 4 meters above the ground and keep them at least 4 meters apart;
- Cut all trees and shrubs within 5 meters of houses and prevent branches from growing on the roof;
Heavy fines to encourage fire prevention in Portugal
If you do not do it before March 15, you could be fined a lot. In fact, the fines can range from 140 to 5,000 euros in the case of a natural person and from 1,500 to 60,000 euros in the case of legal persons. And this year the fines will see their amount double!
Until May 31, municipalities can take the place of the owners in the cleaning of the areas concerned. The owners are required to allow access to their land and especially to repay the Town Hall the amount spent on cleaning.
Reminder of forest fire prevention guidelines in Portugal
The multi-ministerial report recalls common sense measures regarding fires in Portugal. Indeed it is not without reminding that most fires are human nature. In this it is important:
- Keep abreast of fire hazards in your area of esidence
- Make sure that the irrigation system and pipes are working
- Clean the roofs and place a nonstick netting in the chimney
- Keep away from home and buildings:
- Farm or forest remnants
- Stacks of firewood
- Gases or other explosive substances
For more information you can call the dedicated line at 808 200 520 (in Portuguese).